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Grand River Academy Developing Innovative and Transformative Educational Experiences
Kelli Jones

GRA faculty and staff are currently in the midst developing innovative educational experiences for students at an institutional-wide level with collaborations among teachers and across disciplines. This will transform the learning experiences for students while on campus, with the aim of developing young men who by focusing on their strengths will develop the skills necessary to be successful in the future workplaces.

This process kicked off during the faculty opening meetings. Led by Triangle Associates consultants Mr. Richard O'Dell and Dr. Marc Frankel, the last week of August was marked by brainstorming activities, re-imagining the entire day (since boarding schools are not limited by the typical school day hours), and introspection into how a typical class looks like and how can that be challenged.

Since opening meetings, faculty and staff have been holding meetings to examine and re-imagine the programs offered, what facilities should look like to incorporate future programs, daily schedules for students, and how can GRA can increase cross-curriculum collaboration to further teach the skills necessary for students to be successful citizens far after their time at the academy.

Headmaster Tim Viands shares his excitement for this process "watching our faculty take charge and not only look at changes they can personally make in their classroom to help invigorate students but also the academy as a whole highlights the passion and dedication GRA teachers have to make sure we are providing the top-notch education to every student who enters our halls. This process is innovative and is meant to be challenging at times, and the way everyone has worked to grasp the concepts reinforces the idea to me that we are ready to be the change-makers in education."

This process will continue throughout the year and will include student-input. There are also student-led collaboratoriums occurring with projects already planned to implement during the 2017 - 2018 academic year. With technology and workplaces changing at such a fast pace, education to prepare students for the future must also be able to adapt and this process will uncover what that means for Grand River Academy.

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